”Pancreatic cancer is a ”slow and steady” disease because symptoms typically do not show up in the early stages of the cancer”

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Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is such a dangerous and cunning cancer which  will hide its identity until it becomes cancerous. About 23% of patients with cancer of the exocrine pancreas live for one year while about 4% live for 5 years- American Cancer Society.

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Pancreas is found at the back of the abdomen ,located behind the stomach . It is a 6-inch-long spongy, tube-shaped organ with two job functions. One is to make digestive juices -enzymes that help the intestines break down food, and two is to produce hormones such as insulin which regulate the body’s use of sugars and starches.

Pancreatic cancer occurs when malignant cells grow, divide, and spread in the tissues .Pancreatic cancer is a ”slow and steady” disease because symptoms typically do not show up in the early stages of the cancer. At this point, there is pain in the upper abdomen which may spread to the back causing back pain. This can be aggravated after meal or when lying down.
Other symptoms are;
Jaundice
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Weight loss
Fatigue weakness
Depression.

Causes of Pancreatic Cancer
What causes pancreatic cancer remain unknown but it is common among smokers. A study showed that the chances of a smoker being affected with pancreatic cancer is two times higher than a non smoker.



It is also common at the age of 45 years and above.
Diabetes is also another risk factor. Other risks are;
Chronic pancreatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.
Family history of pancreatic cancer
High fat diet
obesity and lack of exercise

Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer
Diagnosing this disease early has always been the issue since it can’t be felt during the usual doctor physical examination. Early diagnosis will save the patients but it has to be done through image tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan so as to have a clear view pictures of the abdomen and determine the extent of the problem.

Treatment Options

Surgery
Cancer that has not spread past the pancreas can be cured with surgery. The problem here is that most time the malignant cells would have spread past the pancreas but surgery will still remove the tumor and lessen the symptoms of the cancer while chemo will do the rest work.

Radiation therapy
It uses high-powered radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation is usually given five days a week for several weeks or months and this schedule helps to protect normal tissue by spreading out the total dose of radiation. Radiation is currently studied by researchers as a way to kill cancer cells that remain in the area after surgery. Radiation therapy can help relieve pain or digestive problems caused by large cancerous masses.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells and stop them from growing or multiplying. Treatment may consist of just one drug or a combination of drugs. It may be given by mouth or by injection. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body.It is a good treat for cancer that has spread. It will also eliminate any cells remnants after surgery

emobile ad newemobile ad newTargeted therapy
These are relatively new drugs still been examined by researchers. Reports so far showed that they can attack specific part of the cancer cells.
Targeted therapies appear to have fewer side effects than chemotherapy and are less harmful to normal cells.

Palliative therapy
It helps in symptoms and pain management regardless of the stage of the disease. It is unique in its ability to work with other treatments thereby helps to achieve a total results for the utmost care of the body.



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